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Powers For Good #0 Pay What You Want
Average Rating:4.1 / 5
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Powers For Good #0
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Powers For Good #0
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by Joseph R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/13/2014 12:32:16

I haven't actually gotten a chance to see it on its feet yet, but from reading the rules Powers for good seems like a simple, fast, and low prep option for running super hero games.

Character creation is dead simple. Emphasizing troop style play the group as a whole creates a team and peoples it with super heroes. These heroes are loosely defined by their powers and a few key character elements. The game favors troupe style play, and players can switch characters between sessions easily.

The game play focuses on fast resolution and resource management. A diminishing die pool mechanic is used in a clever way to give the game play some depth.

All in all I'd highly recommend it for anyone wanting a good engine to play around with Legion of Super Heroes or X Men style super groups. While the game suggests that Justice League would be another option the game doesn't have any real way to model the difference between a Superman and a Shining Knight.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Powers For Good #0
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by Fred B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/21/2014 14:13:56

Simple, Narrative Elegance.

The game starts by creating your team of superheros. You choose the team's name first. After that, each participant (Players and the GM) names two heroes. Yeah, just create two super hero names. That's it. This is actually a brilliant idea. Names are always something that people struggle with, and good names will spark creativity around the table. Now, you assign a power and personality to each of those oddballs. Done! Next, you choose which of those heroes you will play this time (you can change heroes after each adventure). Flesh them out with 2-5 extra powers and you are good to go! Personally, I love this approach - it works great as a pick-up, or even a convention game, and gives you enough info to start roleplaying.

The system is simple, but also brilliant in it's simplicity. You get a set (core) of dice: d12, d8, d6 and a d4. You don't assign them to anything - you just have it. Treat it as, I don't know, your hero's current power. When you need to roll, you pick up any dice you want and roll them. If the total on the dice is greater than the Difficulty Level (GM never rolls dice, only assigns difficulty) - you succeeded! Now, for each die you did not use in the roll, you get a Determination Point - you use those to add to your roll on 1 to 1 basis. If you failed - you get an extra point as well. Simple, and keeps players from using all their dice all the time (you want those Determination Points). But wait! That's not all. "Each roll has consequences" - the book says. The die with the highest result in the roll is reduced in size (so d12 becomes d10, d8 - d6 and so on). This small rule makes teamwork encouraged. As even if you and your friends roll tons of dice to achieve something, only one of those will be reduced. Also, at least in my mind, the little line about the consequences tells the GM, that when describing success, they should always go with: Yes, but.

And that's it for the system - quick, simple and narrative - just like I wanted. Well, there are tips on how to GM and a sample "adventure" in the book. Both good chapters, explaining the narrative GM approach in some detail. So, even if you never played a story or narrative game in your life, you can get the hang of it.

Oh, one more thing - the game is licensed under Creative Commons - so nothing is stopping people from releasing their own hero teams, scenarios, rules etc. I really hope that people will jump on this game and start creating - I want to see Powers For Good #1, #17 and even #200!

Caveat: The game does not have much art, but what is there is really neat, full-page, supers lineart. But that's it. Because of that, some pages seem "naked" with just one column text. It doesn't bother me, especially at the price of admission.

This "review" was first published on my blog: http://level27geek.blogspot.com/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Powers For Good #0
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by James D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/19/2014 17:42:38

A super simple game with easy-to-follow guidelines for team and character creation. This should get a group of experienced players up and running in minutes and less experienced players should have fun learning the basics of role-playing. Certainly worth the price of a beer. :)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Powers For Good #0
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/13/2014 10:00:55

The introduction is brief, explaining that this first work in the Powers For Good line keeps it simple: one team of super heroes to play, one bunch of villains to go up against and the rules necessary to make it all work. One person is the GM, everyone else plays a 'hero apiece. Oh, and you need funny-shaped dice (the sort that are familiar to most role-players!).

On to Getting Started. Here we learn how to create characters. It's simple. Start with the team of superheroes, giving the team a name and listing the members, each person present (including the GM) suggesting two names. Then each player chooses which of the team they'd like to play (which doesn't have to be one that they suggested) and rounds that character out some. Those characters not chosen are the supporting cast and have greatly reduced statistics, being reduced to a brief description of their personality and powers. The player-characters are described in much the same way, only in greater detail - but still in narrative form. No numbers or dice as yet.

Next comes Playing the Game. Play is divided into two phases: Preparation and Action. Action occurs when the characters are acting in the face of an external threat provided by the GM, Preparation is everything else they get up to. Both are handled in the main by verbal descriptions of what characters are doing, the dice generally only come out during Action when a character wishes to use a superpower to accomplish something.

And here's the fun part. That's when you choose which dice to roll for what power - and it's not fixed, you choose each time. The thing is, as a 'core' each character has a d12, a d8, a d6 and a d4 - each can be used once during a given sequence of actions. Once you have chosen, roll the lot and compare the total against a GM-set target number - exceed that and you have succeeded in whatever you were trying to do. To reflect the character getting tired, those dice that were used are then reduced in size (a d12 becomes a d10 and so on down the line until the d4, if used that's gone), but are available for the next thing that you want to do. Once the Action is over and things calm down a bit, you increase the dice by one step again; and once the whole scenario is done, you reset back to the core values. Oh, and you can gain determination from various circumstances, which can be added to your die rolls.

The next section explains the GMs role, how to run the game and what sort of things you need to provide: information, threats and so on. There are some wonderful ideas for spurring the characters into action - vital components hit, things that collapse (under the characters, maybe) and the like. There are notes on managing the dice, setting target numbers and creating (and using) villainous plots to effect.

Finally, there's an adventure for you to try all this out on: Doctor Fission vs. The World. It is presented in outline, but is clear to follow and - being quite basic - should not require too much preparation to run effectively. The action should be fast and furious in the best comic book style!

If you want a fast, simple game that captures the essence of superhero action in an elegant and straightforward style, this is worth a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Powers For Good #0
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by Jeff T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/12/2014 21:51:44

Simple and elegant, words you don't often hear used to describe a tabletop RPG. I look forward to seeing more from this series!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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